January 09, 2008

First Months with Leopard

It's been two months since I upgraded to OS X 10.5 Leopard, and thought a brief report was in order.

A key, opening question for many is whether or not to use an upgrade install or a clean wipe of your drive (after backup!) and then do a new install. With each OS upgrade, I have always advocated a Clean Install for a few reasons.

  1. It forces you to get your file system organized for that important backup.
  2. While the Apple techs worked very hard at devising the save & restore routines, they've never tested it on my machine. I guarantee they didn't have Accordance. They didn't run my combination of Quicksilver and other 3rd party freeware...
  3. A fresh start is exactly that, and can be a good thing for those of us who clutter up their systems.
  4. The time spent reinstalling your applications is the equivalent of spring cleaning in your closet. "Have I really worn that (used that) in the last year?

Install of the OS and my applications went great. Nothing I use regularly was rendered inoperable, at least not after a short upgrade. I intentionally have not yet upgraded my work MacBook for the purpose of seeing how working different went on that machine and my one at home. Some features I have missed when I'm on my older machine.

  1. Spotlight's improvements have made it much more handy.
  2. Quicklook -- I was amazed how much I use this feature. It was indespensible when I decided to go through my files and delete obsolete stuff... never has it been this easy to just browse and see a page of each document to discern whether it could be trashed.
  3. I've found all the complaints about the fancy Dock and the translucent menu bar to be folly. I keep my Dock on auto-hide and it's just fine when go to use it. And if you have a background picture that looks odd with the translucent menu bar, I'd suggest you grow up, pick a solid background, and get back to work. (Sharp tone in jest)
  4. Finally, the enhancement that helped me the most was additions to Applescript.

For bible scholars, I have not uncovered any issues with lost application functionality. I also found no compulsory features that necessitate upgrading now.
All in all, I think it's a great OS. It enables several things that only a common user will benefit from indirectly in the new apps they have available (such as a shared iCal calendar).

1 comment:

Danny Zacharias said...

Probably the biggest problem I have run into since my Leopard install was a problem with Quicksilver proxies. I started using QS access to menu items so extensively that it took me a while to adjust back to the "old" way. I reinstalled QS and nothing seems to work. And it is not consistent. Sometimes I'll hit my proxy keystroke instinctually, and the menu items show up in QS. The next time I do the same thing in the same program, it won't work. strange.

I really like the enhancements to Preview, that is my 2nd favorite to quicklook. Though one thing (hopefully an oversight) that Preview somehow lost is the ability to choose a selection of a PDF image and copy it with command-C! I couldn't believe such a basic function disappeared. I've been forced to go back to Adobe Reader for some of my PDF work.